News: Gypsy tart originated from the Isle of Sheppey
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Author Topic: Rochester Castle  (Read 64748 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Leofwine

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2391
  • Appreciation 355
  • Today is only yesterday's tomorrow
    • Brompton History Research Group
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2012, 12:50:31 »
LewisE's picture of the well inside the castle


Did you notice the date on the well?


The castle began to be restored in the early 19th century - I don't think the 19th century owners were too concened with 'sympathetic' or unobtrusive restoration work!
=========
Brompton History Research Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1891788967775575/

Offline swiftone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Appreciation 21
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2012, 11:48:55 »
LewisE's picture of the well inside the castle


Did you notice the date on the well?



Offline sandi_01

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Appreciation 19
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2012, 10:55:25 »
That's a cool photo of the castle well...I have never seen it before. I will look next time I am at the castle.

And the baker's oven door...I have noticed that many times and wondered why it was there...now I know!

Thanks for the information guys! :)

Offline kyn

  • Administrator
  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7429
  • Appreciation 421
    • Sheppey History
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2012, 08:33:47 »
LewisE's picture of the well inside the castle

Offline Merv

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
  • Appreciation 5
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2012, 23:29:50 »
The arial photo posted by Dover Dan is great, in the area above the Castle where the Pool is we used to play there when we were Kids.
My Father said that Kent actually played a game of Cricket there at one time.
When the Pool was derelict we used it for making and mucking about on Rafts :)
I believe the pool was used by The Maths school

kevin payne

  • Guest
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2012, 15:42:32 »
i am told that the original timbers went to the brewery that once stood on the site that is now the french hospital just off high st by francis isles.

Offline Leofwine

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2391
  • Appreciation 355
  • Today is only yesterday's tomorrow
    • Brompton History Research Group
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2012, 03:02:03 »
Darn, I should have scrolled right back before writing my last post as kyn's original post contains much of the information I put in mine! But hopefully I've added a few more details in some parts, and I don't think the dates I've given clash with kyns!
=========
Brompton History Research Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1891788967775575/

Offline Leofwine

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2391
  • Appreciation 355
  • Today is only yesterday's tomorrow
    • Brompton History Research Group
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2012, 02:58:26 »
I'm going purely from memory here so the dates mat not be perfect, but they should be pretty close.

The original castle was built around 1067 as a simple bailey castle with wooden walls. There was some dispute amongst historians as to whether there was ever a motte too, but last time I looked into this (about a decade ago) most were saying there was not - this may have changed by now!  However, it probably did contain a simple wooden keep, whether on a motte or not. The subject of location is also often debated - Boley hill is suggested where an outcropping of rock may have served as a natural motte, the name being derived from the bailey of the castle. Other experts argue that it was always on its current site, but there was a later siege fortification on Boley Hill. I'm not sure if this one has been resolved yet.

Following the rebellion over the succession in 1088, in which Odo supported William's eldest son, Robert Curthose, against his brother, William Rufus, the King ordered Gundulph to rebuild the walls in stone which he did in about 1089, incorporating part of the Roman city wall into the curtain wall of the castle.  The Keep was (re)built in stone by Richard de Corbeil on the instruction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the castle having been granted to the the Archbishop in perpetuity by Henry I in 1127. The building of the keep took place soon after this (and I think was completed around 1135).

As The Collector mentioned, King John laid siege to the castle during the First Baron's War and the south-east corner was brought down by mining. When it was rebuilt the latest defensive technology - a round tower was constructed.  Following this the castle gradually fell into a state of decay until the reign of Edward III when it was restored and a number of towers were added to the curtain wall that Gundulph had originally built.

By the 16th century the castle was considered obsolete and was used as a 'quarry' to supply stone for the building of Upnor Castle. By the 17th century it was in such a poor state it did not even figure in the battle when Royalists captured the city from Parliamentarian forces in the English Civil War. Diarist Samuel Pepys commented on the poor condition of Rochester Castle, and it seems that by the late 17th century the castle may already have become a tourist attraction.

Destruction of part of the outer wall in began in the early 18th century when the owner decided to sell off the stone as building material. It seems he originally intended to dismantle more of the castle to sell the stone, but the plans were abandoned, but not before the cross wall had been removed. Although some other parts of the castle were dismantled, the two towers in the south-east wall continued to be used for accommodation. At some point in the 17th or 18th century the wooden flooring in the keep was sold off (I have a vague recollection it was sold to a brewer, perhaps one of the Best family.)

In the 1740s prisoners were held at the castle, but these were probably in huts built within the walls rather than in the castle itself. In about 1780 the commander of the Royal Engineers for Chatham, Colonel Debbieg (who also oversaw the modernisation of Chatham Lines) put forward a (unsuccessful) plan to reuse Rochester Castle as an army barracks.

In the early 19th century the castle began to be restored, and in the late 19th century (about 1870 I think) the castle gardens were instituted as a public park. In the 1880s the Corporation of Rochester bought the castle. Work on restoring the keep began in the early 20th century by the Corporation, but in the mid 1960s The Ministry of Public Building and Works took over care of the castle from the Corporation of Rochester. This in turn passed over to English Heritage (1980s?) although I believe Medway Council is still responsible for some (or most) of the upkeep.
=========
Brompton History Research Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1891788967775575/

The Collector

  • Guest
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2012, 01:04:54 »
The Keep is open to visitors but the "Round Tower" is closed off due to the amount of missing facing stone making the steps unsafe also as this was the tower that was collapsed in the Siege, you can see that the walls around it (repaired building work) is becoming detached and in time could collapse, work will have to be done here to save it. all the other Towers are of square design but by the time of the siege, the crusades had started and they had found that round towers were stronger, hence 3 square 1 round.

Also although the Castle was built by Bishop Gundulf, it was not the First Norman castle, the first was on Borley Hill and was a wooden Mott and Baily, following the Death of King William I, Duke of Normandy, some of the Old barons rebelled against William II (William Rufus), The rebels were not doing too bad but William managed to persuade Roger de Montgomerie (Montgomery) 1st Earl of Shrewsbury to change sides,  the rebellion ended at Rochester where Bishop Odo (Earl of Kent, Bishop of Bayeux) surrender outside the gates of Rochester Castle.

Offline Leofwine

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2391
  • Appreciation 355
  • Today is only yesterday's tomorrow
    • Brompton History Research Group
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2012, 19:09:02 »
A couple of photos of Prior's Gate in the 19th century. (Photograph reproduced by permission of the Royal Engineers Museum www.re-museum.co.uk)

1856


1860s
=========
Brompton History Research Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1891788967775575/

Offline rochester1

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Appreciation 18
  • 1936 - 22.03.2017
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2012, 14:34:36 »
With regard to; Rochester Gates and Anns excellent article, I would like to mention one of the most popular and most photographed gates in the 'City'. This is, as recorded by the well known historian Edwin Harris; 'The gate with four names.' That is to say the arch with a dwelling above on Rochester High Street which leads to Rochester Cathedral.  In modern times the most popular of the names is College Gate; a name which will be found on many postcards, or Jaspers Gate. The true name though is Chertseys Gate as recorded in Kelly's.

Chertseys Gate. This name came from a local gentleman Edward Chertsey who took part in what has become to be known as 'Jack Cades Rebellion' of 1450. The patent roll of Henry V1 contains the names of many hundreds of Cades followers (or John Mortimer as he was also known) among which is Chertsey. Edmund of Rochester; the same of Headcorn. The rebellion came to an end when Cades followers quarrelled over the plunder.
'Cade fled but was taken at Heathfield in Sussex when his body was brought to the council. His head was struck from his body which was quartered.One quarter was sent to Blackheath, a second to Norwich, a third to Salisbury and the fourth to Gloucester. The quarters of one of his followers named Nocholas Jakes, were sent to Chichester, Rochester, Portsmouth and Colchester.'
On Cades flight the Lord Chancellor went to Rochester; 'for the tranquility andgood government of the King, and for the seizure of certain goods.' There was 105-15-00 in cash, and goods produced anothr 274- 8-4 out of which~
40 was given to the citizens and bailiffs of Rochester to make the East Gate of that city toward Canterbury.

College Gate. When HenryV111 dissolved the Monastry of St Andrew which was collegiate as well as parochial, he refounded  the college under the name King Henry V111 Grammer School. To reach the college it was necessary to pass under Chertseys Gate via what is now College Yard. The Gate thereafter took the name of College Gate.

Cemetery Gate. Because it led to the burial ground of St Andrews Priory.

Jaspers Gate. Charles Dickens immortalised this Gatehouse in his unfinished novel; The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
within which book was the character John Jasper. Dickens  described it thus;
'They all three look towards an old stone Gatehouse crossing the Close with an arched thorouhfare passing beneath it. Through the window a fire shines out upon the fast darkening scene, involving in shadow the pendant masses of ivy and creeper covering the buildings front. As the deep  Cathedral bell strikes the hour, a ripple of wind goes through these at their distance, like the ripple of the solemn sound that hums through tomb and tower, broken niche and defaced statue, in the pile close at hand.'
'Is Mr Jaspers nephew with him?' The Dean asks.
'No Sir' replied the Verger, 'but expected. Theres his own solitary shadow between the two windows-this one looking this way- the other looking down into the High Street- drawing his own curtains now.'

A mention of this gatehouse would not be complete without a mention of the Bakers oven door which can be found set into the wall under the arch. It was put there in the later part of the nineteenth century when Rochester Corporation made an order that every home in the city was required to have a brick diustbin in the backyard. Obviously this gatehouse had no backyard to build one in and therefore a chute was built from the dwelling above for the disposal of ashes and suchlike and to hold it back an oven door was purchased or purloined.
Rochester was then as now, a tourist destination, and tourists are shall we say; inquisitive! Many a person would see the door and wonder why it was there. On opening it they would find out! A day spent covered in the detritus of a household was not to be recommended. It is welded up now so you will be OK. Take a look next time you're in town.





Offline kyn

  • Administrator
  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7429
  • Appreciation 421
    • Sheppey History
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2012, 14:13:54 »
The keep is open, it could be that when it was mentioned it was closed for repairs or something?  LewisE has been dragged up it many times :)

seafordpete

  • Guest
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2012, 13:47:02 »
It was open in 1952-3ish, I can remember going there

Offline Longpockets

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
  • Appreciation 15
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2012, 13:26:42 »
Fred the Needle,

The keep is currently open under the management of EH via Medway Council. Not sure how long it has been open as a structure but I have lived in the area for about 23 years and to my knowledge it has always been so. There are others on the forum who are more knowledgeable on this than me, I am sure they will advise you. It is currently under threat of colapse due to it not having a roof which allows the full force of the elements to play havoc with it, such a shame. It would be a magnificent place to visit if were possible to install floors and roof, one only has to see the keep at Dover to see what can be achieved if those who have charge of it had the MONEY ( same old thing these days ) and the where with all to take the restoration through. It is such an important piece of architectural history that it should not be lost.

Regards

Fred the Needle

  • Guest
Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2012, 10:30:12 »
I really liked my day in Rochester  :)

The top of the tower was the best bit of the castle.

Pardon me for asking, but I left Kent in 1989 and I thought the Keep had been declared unsafe since then so people couldn't go up it.  Does that mean that I was given duff info or that it's been repaired?

I have NEVER been up the keep in my life - one of the disadvantages of having lived so near it for 35 years  :)

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines